Tagged with spring

A to Wa of Japan: Week 12

A to Wa of Japan: Week 12

It’s time for A to Wa of Japan again! Last week’s post was about things beginning with こ (ko) and we looked at kotatsu (炬燵), koto (箏) and cosplay (コスプレ). This week we are looking at things beginning with さ (sa). A big thank you to everyone who joined in with suggestions this week: Jay Dee suggested sakura (桜 / cherry blossom), Saitama (さいたま / … Continue reading

5 Reasons to Visit Japan in May

5 Reasons to Visit Japan in May

The J-Festa theme this month is “Japan in May“, so I thought I’d share my top 5 reasons to visit Japan in May. I know May is nearly over, but this way you can plan your trip for next year! March to May is generally considered to be spring in Japan, with summer (starting with … Continue reading

Hanami in London

Hanami in London

One Japanese tradition that I absolutely love is hanami (花見). For those of you who don’t know, hanami is a cherry blossom viewing party. One thing worth knowing in relation to hanami is the saying “hana yori dango” (花より団子), which basically means “food is more important than flowers”. So, yeah, a hanami party is really … Continue reading

Happy Hello Kitty Easter

Happy Hello Kitty Easter

It seems Hello Kitty really is here to stay in England (wish she’d been so popular when I was a kid!). My local Sainsbury’s had these Hello Kitty Easter eggs for sale: What with the Hello Kitty crackers I found at Christmas, and now these Easter eggs, I think it’s fair to say that she’s … Continue reading

Catching the blossom with a haiku

Catching the blossom with a haiku

After spending a few hours in St James’s Park under the cherry blossoms (or possibly some other kind of blossoms, I can’t actually tell), I made my way to the Chelsea College of Art for a haiku workshop. The workshop was run by haiku poets Sho Otaka and Paul Conneally, in English and Japanese, and … Continue reading

The Greatest Buddha

A tourist-show, a legend told, A rusting bulk of bronze and gold, So much, and scarce so much, ye hold The meaning of Kamakura? (Extract from a poem by Rudyard Kipling, 1892) Carrying on from the last post about my Tokyo area trip, I’m sure you’ll remember that on April 19th I was walking to The … Continue reading

Ueno Zoo

On Friday April 15th I visited Ueno Zoo. I’ve already told you about my main reason for going there in a previous post – to see the new pandas. Given the current situation in Japan, I had naively thought that people would have other things on their minds instead of pandas… I was wrong. When … Continue reading

Hamamatsu Hanami

There has been a lot of talk of subdued “hanami” (cherry blossom viewing) parties this year, or even cancelling them altogether. While of course I respect that some people are in mourning, or simply don’t have the means to have a hanami party this year due to the huge disaster in Tohoku, I do think … Continue reading

Sakura in Hamamatsu

I got up early to see flowers this morning. I think it’s the first time in my life I have ever done that. Does that mean I’m getting old? Or perhaps just that Japan is rubbing off on me. Even though I’m planning to go to Hamamatsu Castle Park for hanami (a cherry blossom viewing … Continue reading

Alone in Kyoto

The title of this blog comes from the wonderful Air song, “Alone in Kyoto”, which I had playing in my head all day last Sunday (27th March). (NB. Video is not mine, it’s from buggyrun, and I just found it on YouTube.) This song seems very appropriate for wandering around Arashiyama, as I did. My … Continue reading